No doubt all of us Bapak Itiks (Bapak Itik, Itik Lucah, Itik Gempal, Itik Boroi, Itik Kiasu, Itik Berkira, Itik Lawak & isteri and Itik Lemak kot for Syed Asruruuuu) felt like we were 15 again.
But it was not without drama and scares in spite of all the most careful planning we had had for a Mighty Ducks program so far. After the hiccup of the last training session in the last school break (where we were literally stood up by the juniors ha ha), we wanted to make sure all grounds were covered so the planning started right after the school break and was micromanaged at the lowest level – with everyone so minutely guarding their KPIs; otherwise there would be another long thread in the MigDucks mailing list cursing at each other.
The short-listed nominations for MigDuck drama of the year from this event are as follows (drum roll):
- “.. mintak maap tapi kami nasihatkan cancel saja”
A week before the tournament was supposed to happen, I received an SMS from koleq, advising me to call off the event since no teacher was available to accompany the boys on the bus from KK to Manjong. Though it was understandable that at the end of the school term, most teachers were occupied with either personal plans or post-exam commitments – I actually went straight off through the roof to the point that I told the teacher in charge (who has become so close to us) that if the tournament was called off, we would pack up and never return again.
The suspense went on for a few days as the teacher went around frantically to persuade a teacher to sacrifice a day for the boys but to no avail.
I finally had to break our code of not going to the superiors and SMS the HM, asking his help to assign a teacher for the tournament. It was not really a nice thing to do as some of the teachers definitely had been scolded but it did get the job done.
But I’ll be careful where I park my car next when I am in koleq he he.
- “.. encik bawak berapa orang pompuan?”
Epit, Mpro, Idzam and Syed Asrul took one day off on Friday to be there for the final preparation before the game. I guess Epit wanted to make sure everything was perfect since he was the project manager for the tournament (and Epit needed this tournament to deflect any criticism of his commitment to Mighty Ducks since he had to take a backseat all this while due to a professional commitment he had to complete).
So to prepare for their reconnaissance mission last Friday, Mpro had booked an accommodation (a large air-conditioned dormitory with a four star facility as advertised on the net) at a local Inn (whose name I have forgotten).
The four of them had been planning what to do to enjoy themselves in Manjong while waiting for us to arrive (and a good time off from the family too) in the last one month that when they found out the actual condition of the room, all life was taken from them.
Greeted by a front man who was more fit to man a laundry shop than a hotel (this description is my very own), they were shown to an empty room full of graffiti. A semblance of a hotel room was given by a stack of old mattresses, a few packed soaps and a few toilet rolls lumped together by the mattresses.
To top it all, the front man also enquired how many women (read: prostitutes) they were bringing with them.
They thought they were spending the night in a four star accommodation; they ended up in a one star prostitute den!
I was told that Syed Asrul profusely told them that had I been around, it would have been such an issue so they had to change room.
They finally moved to a much better hotel (so good for value and nice too) called Orchard Inn nearer to Manjong town.
- “.. errr epit kenapa ada budak2 pompuan sekolah rendah kat turf ni”
The boys left late on the day itself because the driver was late. The Bapak Itiks who were already there then took their sweet time that Canoe and I (who left at 4 am Saturday morning from KL) arrived first at the astroturf stadium in Manjong.
We made a tour first and realised the stadium was occupied by a group of primary school girls. I then went to check with the teacher in charge and found out that the turf was booked by a school – and they had a receipt to prove it.
So you can imagine the panic that I had – after all the trouble getting people scolded to get the boys from KK to Manjong, where the hell would we have the tournament now that the stadium was booked by someone else.
A short phone call later to Epit sent everyone to panic as well because a good weekend was about to be spoilt by my rather infamous tantrum and bitchiness. But Epit calmly (he he well he wasn’t really calm to tell the truth, he was panicking like hell too) checked with the officers in charge, only to find out that the clerk who took the booking – took a double booking. That clerk is none other than a son of the familiar Pak Syed whose house near the train station was often frequented by budak koleq from the kampong batches.
There was no point to argue with the teacher because both of us were victims of a careless job by the clerk – so Epit negotiated that they cut short the training, which they agreed (and my about to explode temper vanished just like that).
The boys arrived half an hour before the pitch was cleared. We took the time for the briefing and all other administrative matters.
The girls were too happy to relinquish the pitch as they stayed on to admire these “abangs” from MCKK (and along the way had crushes here and there).
So all worked out well, to Epit’s great relief.
- “.. rain or shine (but never be late)”
Badut and Red were the last one to arrive. Badut’s task was on the medals and the trophy – so we were getting anxious to see the medals and trophy.
Badut on the other hand, was anxious not to show the medals and the trophy to us, because frankly speaking they were the truest testimony of cheap skate culture. The medals especially looked so cheap the karipap served in our meetings must have cost more (ha ha).
While waiting for Badut to arrive (and in the midst of the turf fiasco with the primary school girls), a few of us made some SMS to Badut to warn him that I was about to explode (though later on we found out Mpro had already notified Badut that “kemarahan sekarang sudah beralih kepada Epit” hence why Badut took his sweet time to arrive).
Though my jaw did drop when Badut showed me the medals, I thought it should not be a big deal because the whole point of the tournament was to make it fun and provided the boys with an experience they could share among themselves as they grow up. It was more of a team building exercise in nature, not a real competitive tournament. Besides, we have many other prizes lined up for them.
(Well the actual reason why I settled for the cheaper-than-karipap medals was because I was the one who set the budget at RM300 for all the medals and trophy, so Badut kept hinting that he delivered his KPI as agreed – basically I had a part to play in the cheaper-than-karipap sham. But then again, that’s what happens when you leave two accountants to decide on prizes)
Despite all this, Badut had to contend with the joke that the motto for the hockey team would be modified to “Rain or Shine (but never be late)” as a reminder to his lateness that morning (suspected due to an unplanned morning exercise in the room).
But when the tournament did take off, it was so fun. I cannot describe how proud and happy we were to see the kids in full spirit playing hockey, how competitive they were and to see them just being kids. The F1s and F2s impressed us with their game and sportsmanship, after all 3 months ago we had to bribe them and bought them the sticks for them to play.
I was especially happy to see the F3s to come back to the team after a year’s disappearance – now that they had no excuse not to come down for the training. The F3s captain – Holland – was in full spirit and just like the first time we met him; he had this “AKU TAK NAK BUAT APA BUT NAK MAIN HOKI JE KAT KOLEQ” written on his forehead.
It was really a mini carnival – with a lot of packed food, songs from the radio, the boys’ iPod (connected to the laptop and speaker we brought with us) and KNO’s collection of MP3s. We gave each one of them a free t-shirt – I don’t know what they feel about the design but nobody seemed to complain about it.
It was liberating for us to be away from the drowning atmosphere of KL (what with the never ending work commitments) and for the boys to be away from koleq.
Which worked well too because the kids were really careful in attacking that a slight body contact with me sent them apologizing as if they had just hit me in the face! (For the record, I did hit the ball a few times in the game)
I can go on about the results, the players awards etc. but I thought the videos here can tell the stories better.
It will definitely become an annual event in Manjong! Mighty Ducks Cup 2008 – here we come!
I will not do justice if I don’t thank my batchmates who had answered the call for contributions and as always too willing to give your cash for the kids. I know you don’t want your names published here – but last weekend wouldn’t have been possible without you guys. Thank you very much and we owe you a lot, so the least we could do is to make sure Sukanterer Reunion is smashing too!
Thank you too to the group of ex-hockey players who were generous to contribute money for Mighty Ducks. Hopefully the boys will do justice to your hope and contribution.
Even as I am writing this blog, I am too aware that Shahrol had only left us for a mere 2 weeks. It was a struggle initially to focus on Mighty Ducks Cup (and all the other activities with the kids we had planned for) because I really felt guilty to enjoy myself. It’s the inner thought that as and when I enjoy myself, it is as if I stop mourning and have moved on.
On the other hand, Shahrol would have enjoyed this tournament more than anyone of us if he was around. He would have wanted the boys to really enjoy the tournament. He would have wanted us the Bapak Itiks to be there with the boys and make the best of it.
Shahrol once offered me his help for Mighty Ducks when we started out in January this year, because I had never carried out any project without his involvement. But I told him flatly that I needed him for the debaters and I wanted him to spend more time with his family – hence why he wasn’t involved with Mighty Ducks.
When I made a posting 2-3 weeks ago asking for contribution for the tournament, he called me and wanted to give a few hundreds ringgit. I told him I needed his money for the debaters, so I will call him before the debaters camping in December.
I guess that will never happen now.
But Shahrol would have been the happiest if he was with us in Mighty Ducks and if he was there in Manjong last weekend.
KNO had posted more than 200+ photos from the tournament here.